En­nis­cor­thy man charged with as­sault­ing taxi driver

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS -

AN EN­NIS­COR­THY man ap­peared be­fore Judge Haughton last week charged with as­sault­ing an el­derly taxi driver af­ter he and his part­ner were re­fused a taxi on a night out.

Brian Red­mond (32) of 1 Fr Mur­phy Park was charged with as­sault caus­ing harm to taxi driver Michael Hughes at Rail­way Square on Jan­uary 16 of last year.

From the wit­ness box, Mr Hughes told the court of the im­pact the events of that night have had on him. He told Judge Haughton that he had suf­fered some ill health, re­quir­ing ma­jor op­er­a­tions, and had only taken on the part-time work as a taxi driver to ‘ keep sane’.

‘ The scari­est thing about that night was that I heard or saw noth­ing un­til I got hit in the back of the head,’ Mr Hughes said. ‘As a re­sult of the in­ci­dent, I’m now back on painkillers full-time. I have re­cur­ring...I wouldn’t call them night­mares, but bad dreams and I’m con­stantly ex­pect­ing some­thing to hap­pen. My fam­ily want me to give up the job, but I wouldn’t do that be­cause I love it. There are times I get ner­vous on the bus though if there’s any kind of ag­gro.’

Mr Hughes said fol­low­ing the at­tack, he was left with ‘soft tis­sue dam­age’ graz­ing and was ‘ black and blue’.

‘I had pain in my head where I hit the wall and a pain in my hand where I had tried to pro­tect my head,’ he con­tin­ued.

Red­mond pleaded guilty to the charge and the court heard that he had only one pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for pub­lic in­tox­i­ca­tion, which went all the way back to 2008 and would not be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Solic­i­tor Ca­tri­ona Walsh said that this in­ci­dent would be a ‘ telling les­son’ for her client, who she de­scribed as ‘a law abid­ing cit­i­zen for the most part’. She de­scribed the at­tack as a ‘mo­ment of mad­ness’ and ex­plained that her client had had too much to drink on the night in ques­tion, as had his part­ner. Red­mond’s part­ner was re­fused a taxi for be­ing too in­tox­i­cated and, Ms Walsh said, ‘in­di­cated in er­ror that it was Mr Hughes who had re­fused her’.

Ms Walsh said that her client was ex­tremely re­morse­ful and had gath­ered €1,200 in com­pen­sa­tion to pay over to Mr Hughes.

‘Un­for­tu­nately these cases are a com­mon oc­cur­rence in our towns,’ Ms Walsh said. ‘Mr Red­mond doesn’t have a huge rec­ol­lec­tion of the in­ci­dent and couldn’t be­lieve it had hap­pened. It’s not the way he was raised.’

In de­lib­er­at­ing, Judge Haughton said that, first he would have to take into ac­count that Red­mond has no valid pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions and pleaded guilty at an early stage. ‘This is a se­ri­ous as­sault nev­er­the­less,’ he said. ‘It’s a warn­ing to any­one, if you strike out at some­one on the street, you don’t know what in­jury you could in­flict. You could face any­thing from a Sec­tion 2 as­sault to man­slaugh­ter or even mur­der. You just don’t know what the re­sult will be. Peo­ple can wind up dead. This has to be taken se­ri­ously.’

Giv­ing mind to all the cir­cum­stances, Judge Haughton sen­tenced Red­mond to eight months in prison with an al­ter­na­tive of 200 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice on the con­di­tion that he pays €3,000 in com­pen­sa­tion to Mr Hughes. The Judge said that the com­pen­sa­tion may be able to pro­vide some com­fort to Mr Hughes by maybe ‘giv­ing him a hol­i­day or some­thing’.

The de­fen­dant agreed to this and the case was ad­journed un­til Oc­to­ber 10 for a Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Re­port and for the bal­ance of the com­pen­sa­tion to be paid.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.